Homeschooling. Some days I love it. Some days I don’t. I’m only human!
Its quite a funny mix bag of responses that I get when people ask why my kids aren’t in school. Some people are really encouraging and say things such as ‘I really admire mums who can homeschool – I’d love to do it but my kids are happy in school’ or ‘I don’t think I could do it, but good for you’. Some back peddle out of the conversation quickly as though I am going to preach at them as to all the benefits of homeschooling – which I don’t, but I will answer peoples questions! Some close down the conversation quickly by telling me that I am a crazy woman.
I’ve decided that I am probably a little crazy in one way or another – and I’m really okay with that. I always wanted to live my life in the way that I believe is best. I’m very okay dancing to the beat of my own drum.
Maybe I am a crazy woman, but I didn’t just jump into homeschooling because we had a bad experience at a local school. I talked to numerous people who homeschool, particularly ones that I know who have older kids, I researched how my kids could go to university after homeschooling, particularly if one or all of them wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, and believe it or not – every single time I was shown examples and evidence of homeschoolers fulfilling their dreams. There are even numerous articles online about how many Australian universities are keen for homeschoolers to study through them because most homeschoolers have fantastic study and writing skills.
What I have learned about myself over the last 12 months.
I have decided that I am pretty cool. I have been able to provide an environment at home where my kids are learning in a way that suits them – and they are doing really well. I love that No day is wasted. Every day is a learning day – Even if someone needs a sick day – there are still things they can learn and do. Our learning time is concentrated…that is, an hour of maths is in fact an hour of maths. There aren’t the many distractions that a classroom has in terms of students talking, bullying issues, teacher/student issues, etc.
I have learned that I am pretty good at homeschooling, and now that I am in a groove I am finding some fantastic resources to help the kids whenever we come against something they find difficult. I really love working alongside the kids and helping them. There is something really satisfying coming to the end of a day knowing that we achieved rockstar status in maths, or we blitzed an English assessment piece. I’m not saying that teachers don’t earn their keep, its hard work being a teacher, but this is about me and homeschooling and what I feel it has taught me about myself. What have I learned? I am so much more than ‘just a mum’, I have the ability to change the destiny of my kids by providing a happy learning space each day, and I really love seeing their smile when they know they have just beaten their Goliath in whatever subject that is giving them grief.
Homeschooling is so rewarding on so many levels. Yes it is tiring, but so rewarding. This is not a ‘you should homeschool your kids’ spiel in any way. This is simply about what I have learned. I used to be stressed about my kids struggling at school, these days I feel cool, calm and completely connected. Yes there have been tears, yes there are struggles, but to see my kids blossoming makes the tears worthwhile.
I have also learned to be more tolerant of others. We aren’t created to be the same, we are created to live our lives to the best of our ability and some of us are more okay with running against the crowd than with the crowd. Its okay to run with the crowd – as long as you like where the crowd is headed, and you want to go there.
I don’t know what the future looks like. I’m just taking one year at a time. Actually, truthfully, I take one term at a time. I have always found it difficult to live in the present because the grass always looks greener somewhere else, but homeschooling has helped me on so many levels to enjoy and live in the now.
The homeschooling program we use follows the current Australian Curriculum. Marks are awarded by the school based on the child’s work. The criteria is the same as if they were sitting in a classroom at school. The maths program is not a dummy maths program in any way. Its based on a popular Australian curriculum approved program – Maths Quest. Each child has their own year level book.